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Interview Training

Interview Training

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Published by Renato Ganoza
A lesson plan which can be adapted for many different kinds of interviews (visa, academic, school registration, work, etc.)
A lesson plan which can be adapted for many different kinds of interviews (visa, academic, school registration, work, etc.)

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Published by: Renato Ganoza on Jul 22, 2009
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05/11/2014

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Renato Ganoza for EF Zhengzhou, 2009
Academic Interview Training\u2013 Lesson One, \u201cDid You Do Your Homework?\u201d
Preliminary Information Gathering

Where are you going? Why?
What is the interview process like?
Who interviews you?
Where will you be interviewed?
When is the interview? How much time do you have to prepare?
How have you been preparing for the interview?
Do you know anyone who has taken the interview?
Have you taken the interview before?
What happens if you fail this interview?
When will you know whether you pass this interview?
What will you do if you pass this interview?

Students should have ready answers for all the questions above. These are basic things they should know. A student
who is passionate and interested in passing this exam would know these thingsver y well.
If a studentc an\u2019t answer the questions above, they clearly haven\u2019t done their homework. Maybe they aren\u2019t interested
in the program. Maybe their parents are pushing them to take this interview. If a student can\u2019t convinceyou that they
really want to pass this interview, how are they going to convince the interviewer?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________
Academic Interview Training\u2013 Lesson Two, \u201cThe First Question\u201d
Ask the student a simple introductory question.

Introductory Questions

So what do you like to do?
Tell me a little about yourself.
Do you have any hobbies? What are your interests?
What do you do in your spare time?
What do you do? Are you a student, or do you have a job?

Take careful note of their answer. Ask the student another simple question \u2013 \u201cWhat is the first question you\u2019re asked
during the interview going to be?\u201d
They probably know. It\u2019s going to be a simple introductory question like the one you just asked. Draw the student a
simple picture, now:
Renato Ganoza for EF Zhengzhou, 2009
Explain that this is a picture of a professor (the interviewer) and three Chinese students\u2013 a boy, a girl, and another boy.
The professor will ask the three students what their hobbies and interests are.
What did your student answer, when you asked the same question? Explain that the professor has likely heard the same
tired, boring answers a million times. How many students does the professor interview in one day? Ten? Twenty? More?
Your student probably gets the picture. They need to say something different and memorable\u2013 even to the seemingly
\u2018simple\u2019 questions. First impressions are important. A student who has put thought and effort into the \u2018easy\u2019 questions
leaves a good impression.
So how can students set themselves apart from the crowd? Easy\u2013 choose one or two hobbies that they really put a lot
of time into, and talk about those.
Which sounds better?
Liking something isn\u2019t impressive. I like lots of things. I like ice cream and puppies and women. I don\u2019t brag about it. Your
student should do their best to find something that theydo.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
Academic Interview Training \u2013 Lesson Three, \u201cShaping Your Interview\u201d
It\u2019s rare for interviewers to read questions off a sheet without taking student responses into account. That\u2019s the point of
the oral interview: it gives interviewers a better idea of who you are.
Clever students can manipulate an interview in their favor.
The three shapes of an interview.
\u201cI like basketball and
playing computer
games and reading
books.\u201d
\u201cI like watching TV and
listening to music and
reading novels.\u201d
\u201cI like spending time
with friends and
watching TV. I like
sleeping.\u201d
Can your student guess what the students will
answer?Pr obably .
Student A:
\u201cHobbies? Every weekend I volunteer at a
hospital. My mother is a doctor, and I love
the feeling of helping people. I want to be a
doctor when I grow up, too.\u201d
Student B:
\u201cHobbies? I like to sleep. Chinese students
have a lot of homework. I\u2019m always tired.I
really like watching TV, too.\u201d
or
?

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